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Kaitlyn Clark beats Stephen Curry and breaks the NCAA record for 3-pointers made in a season

Kaitlyn Clark beats Stephen Curry and breaks the NCAA record for 3-pointers made in a season

Caitlin Clark is still rewriting the NCAA record books even on her nights off.

She is now the all-time leader for 3-point field goals made in a single NCAA season, a record she previously tied, along with Golden State Warriors legend and former Davidson star Stephen Curry and former Liberty guard Darius McGee at 162. .

Clark entered Iowa's Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal game against No. 7 Penn State just one pointer away from the mark on Friday, not coming until the fourth quarter. She finished the 95-62 win with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, though she was uncharacteristically shooting 5-of-19 and 2-of-14 from 3-point range.

Her first touch of the game led to a missed three-pointer midway through the first quarter, and she quickly followed that up with two free throws for her first four points. Clark has been quick to pass the ball when it comes to it ever since, in keeping with her tendency to prioritize her teammates and Iowa's success when it matters.

But to the credit of the Nittany Lions' defense, and perhaps Clarke's awareness of the moment, she also missed 11 three-point attempts and turned the ball over twice before she could break the record. She didn't make a field goal until it gave Iowa its first points of the second quarter, hitting a deep two-pointer with less than four minutes remaining in the period.

She broke the record in front of an enthusiastic crowd with eight minutes left in the fourth period. An expression of relief flashed across her face before she raised her hands and encouraged cheers.

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“The Clark Effect” has driven viewership and attendance to an all-time high this season, which is why tickets for the Big Ten women's tournament at Target Center in Minneapolis are sold out for the first time in its history. More than 109,000 fans purchased tickets for the five-day event.

When asked about Clark's stardom, Curry reflected on how much times have changed since he brought crowds of reporters and fans to Davidson games in 2008.

“I can't imagine what it's like right now,” Curry said via Twitter. The athlete. “This was before Twitter was a real thing. I didn't get Instagram until I was a junior in college. So the social media element just makes it crazier.”

There was no doubt who drew the crowd on Friday, as audible “Caitlin Clarke, Caitlin Clarke, Caitlin Clarke” disrupted the quiet of the opening alarm.

Many of those fans were relishing the moment they had been eagerly awaiting, lining up hours before Clarke arrived on the field.

The Big Ten tournament is single-elimination, creating the possibility that Friday's contest could be the last conference game of Clark's collegiate career. And there wasn't much to worry about after the Hawkeyes finished the first half leading 46-26.

When Clarke's memorable NCAA career is over, she will take her talents to the WNBA. She announced her plans to forego her fifth year at Iowa State via a social media post on February 29.

Days after Clark broke the news of her WNBA intentions, on March 3, she scored 35 points in Iowa State's 93-83 win over Ohio State to break NCAA great Pete Maravich's all-time scoring record in her final regular-season college game.

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Clark also broke some records in the NCAA Championships last year. She holds the mark for most 3-pointers made in a single tournament with 25. She also broke the record for 3-pointers made in a national tournament, hitting eight in a loss to LSU.

She and Iowa will look to get back to the title game when March Madness begins later this month. Selection takes place on Sunday, March 17. But the Hawkeyes are first hoping to win the Big Ten Championship, which continues with the semifinals on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday.